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Pet Professional Guild Launches ‘Horses with Voices’ Initiative

Horses with Voices logo
OFFICIAL PPG NEWS RELEASE | LECANTO, Fla. – Aug. 30, 2021 – The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) has launched its Horses with Voices initiative, the primary aim of which is to improve companion equid* welfare by educating and empowering owners to commit to a higher standard of care for all species, from stabling practices to training practices and more.

Horses with Voices takes the format of a seven-point pledge whereby owners, guardians and caretakers commit to advocating for their equid companions while striving to create a harmonious and equal partnership with them. Each individual point is then broken out into a supporting document that provides further details and guidance.

The Pledge incorporates the following points, or topics:

1.       Ongoing Education: A commitment to learn more about equine behavior so owners can better understand their equid’s communications via body language, vocalizations and facial expression.

2.       Training Methods: A promise to only use teaching methods that promote an animal’s physical and emotional well-being and are based on the latest scientific behavioral research.

3.       Interactions: An understanding that equids are sentient beings who form close bonds with their human partners.

4.       Empowerment: A focus on communication, including preference and consent testing.

5.       Environment: An awareness of the need to fulfill each animal’s species-specific needs, including the freedom to graze, play, and move around, access to other equids as friends, and continual access to foraging.

6.       Social Behavior: An understanding of equine emotions and their underlying impact on each individual animal’s observable behavior.

7.       Responsibility: A commitment to advocate for their equid companions, ensuring their individual and unique needs are met.horses with voices sign the pledge“Supporters sign the pledge to make a commitment to themselves and their equine(s) to be their best, learn, progress, and stand up for equines by advocating for their best interests,” explained PPG Equid Committee co-chair Mary Richards.

“Broadly speaking, the topics we cover are education, relationships, and communication, so that we can understand and communicate effectively with our equine partners, friends, and companions. All of the seven pledge items have support in the form of what this means for the individual and their equid, links to relevant information, and contact details of professionals who can answer questions and guide people further.”

“With this program, we hope to raise awareness and improve education in all areas of equid care, for all equid species,” added PPG Equid Committee co-chair Michelle Martiya. “I’m excited about this program because I feel it gives all equid owners, from horses to donkeys, to mules and zebra, guidelines they can easily follow to improve the welfare of their animals.”

*Equid [definition]: Any of various mammals of the family Equidae, having a single hoofed digit on each foot, which includes horses, donkeys, and zebras. (Your Dictionary, 2021)

horses with voices pledge certificate

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